Clean Dirt


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


I spent all but five of my growing-up years in southern Minnesota. The other five were in western Oregon. In both those places, the soil was rich, dark, and fertile.

Even though several years were spent in Minneapolis, it wasn’t a very long drive to get out of the city and into farm country. Most of Minnesota is flat, which of course makes for easier plowing than hilly terrain does.  I have clear memories of the smell of the earth as it was freshly turned in preparation for planting.

It’s a good, clean smell.  Clean dirt?  Yes, for these purposes. The soil was rich and black. It supported wheat, soybeans, peas, beans, and corn that was definitely knee-high by the Fourth of July.  It was also wonderful soil for the many backyard gardens that were cultivated with lots of TLC.  There’s nothing quite like a juicy, fat beefsteak tomato fresh from the garden. Wonderful.

In Oregon, there were also many farms, as well as home gardens.  I think what I especially loved were the berries.  All kinds of berries. Blackberries, red raspberries, blueberries–lots more. They were huge.  Some grew wild; others were cultivated to sell.  Nothing tasted any better than a fat blackberry, still warm from the sun, picked off the bushes we passed on our way to and from the municipal swimming pool.  Sometimes we picked berries for pay. It never took very long to fill a bucket or a box.

My favorite thing in Oregon, though?  Roses!  Roses were everywhere, in every yard, in parks, along the median of some streets–just everywhere.  And then there were the Rose Gardens, where you could wander all day enjoying the sweet aroma, the vibrant colors, and the fat bumblebees that blimped from one blossom to another. They were too lazy to sting.  No need to be afraid.

If you love roses as much as I do, you could die happy wandering the acres of glorious blooms. They came in just about every color you can imagine, and I don’t think we ever  came to the end of these luscious gardens.  Seemed to me they had no end.

Well, I guess I’m finished for today.  It always surprises me just a bit when one word, like soil, can trigger so many happy memories.

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